Sovereign refers to a supreme authority or power that possesses absolute and independent control over a territory, people, or government. It is the highest form of political authority and represents the ability to make and enforce decisions within a specific jurisdiction without external interference. A sovereign entity typically has the power to establish laws, exert military force, and collect taxes.
The concept of sovereignty has evolved over centuries, emerging from the medieval feudal system where monarchs held supreme power over their domains. Today, sovereignty is a fundamental principle in international relations, shaping the modern state system. Each recognized state is considered sovereign, meaning it possesses the exclusive right to govern its citizens and territory. This implies that no other state or external authority can interfere with its internal affairs without consent.
Sovereignty also carries certain responsibilities. States are expected to respect the sovereignty of other nations, which includes non-interference in their internal affairs and abiding by international law. However, the concept of sovereignty has faced challenges in recent years due to globalization and the growing interconnectedness of nations. Issues such as transnational crime, terrorism, and human rights violations have led to debates around the limits of sovereignty and the need for cooperation and intervention in certain cases. Despite these challenges, sovereignty remains a cornerstone of modern political systems, reflecting the authority and autonomy of nations in global affairs.